MMus in Advanced Musical Studies and PGDip in Music Performance
With one of the largest postgraduate communities in the UK (typically around 50-60 research students and 20 Masters students each year), we are established as one of the country's premier institutions for postgraduate education in Music.
Our research profile is of international standing, and this is reflected in the exceptionally high quality of our postgraduate provision.
Our taught Masters programme, the MMus in Advanced Musical Studies, is designed to allow you either to specialise in one particular area of advanced musical study such as composition, ethnomusicology, musicology, or performance, or to choose a more varied set of options.
We also offer a PGDip in Music Performance, and a flexible Continuing Professional Development (CPD) mode of study.
Details of our programmes can be found below.
MMus programme details
All MMus students take the following courses:
- A Special Study (60 credits)
- The core MMus course ('Skills in Advanced Musical Study', 20 credits)
- 5 elective courses (each worth 20 credits)
For students choosing to specialize in ethnomusicology, musicology, or performance, the MMus in Advanced Musical Studies could for example comprise:
- A Special Study (a 13,000–14,000-word dissertation or a 50 minute recital)
- The core MMus course
- 1 elective related to your chosen pathway (e.g. 'Techniques of Performance Studies' or 'Techniques of Ethnomusicology')
- 4 additional electives from the Music Department or any other
For students specialising in composition, the degree could for example comprise:
- A Special Study (12-14 minutes of original music)
- The core MMus course
- 3 electives in Composition
- 2 additional electives of choice from the Music Department or any other
Although the elective course units on offer vary slightly from year to year, the electives available for students to choose between will typically include...
Three in composition from the following:
- Practical Composition Projects
- Composing for Ensemble
- Media and Commercial Composition
- Fusion Electronics and Sonic Art
Two each in the following areas:
- Music History
- Performance Studies
And the following:
- Theory and Analysis
- Topics in Multimedia and Film Music
- Documenting Performance
- Short Recital
Others courses may, however, also be offered, including Studies in Musical Sources, Music and Management, Issues in Popular Music, Music Since 1900, and Schenkerian Analysis.
Elective courses are typically assessed by essay (4,000–5,000 words), composition portfolio, or performance. At least one of the electives you choose from this list must be in the same area as your Special Study (i.e. in the broad area of ethnomusicology, music history, etc.). Up to two electives may be substituted for course units taken in other departments at Royal Holloway (such as Modern Languages or History).
In addition to the Special Study and the five electives, all students take the core 'Skills in Advanced Musical Studies', which consists of five lectures in the first term (leading to a 2,500-word essay) plus a second component chosen from a wide range of different research training options (including seminars at the Institute for Musical Research and Visiting Lecturer series). This component is assessed mostly by essay but there is scope for other kinds of assignment by agreement.
PGDip programme details
The PGDip in Music Performance is designed to develop specific techniques, skills and knowledge relevant to the musical performance interests of individual students, equip students for performance at an advanced/professional level and allow for both contextualised study and distinct specialism within the field of performance.
Students work towards a Special Study Recital (worth 80 credits), and must also take two electives (20 credits each) from the Department of Music (one of these may be Skills in Advanced Musical Studies, the MMus Core Course, if the student wishes). Elective courses are delivered and most coursework tasks submitted during terms one and two, enabling students to focus on preparation for their Special Study Recital for the remainder of the programme.
The part-time programme lasts 104 weeks, beginning in September of year one. Part-time students normally take two electives in their first year, and work towards the Special Study Recital in their second year.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) mode
Our department also offers the more relaxed Continuing Professional Development (CPD) mode of study where students with ongoing professional careers take modules over a four or five-year period. Here, the Core Course is taken in the first year and the Special Study in the last.